Grand jury set to review charges in 2 deaths

Published 12:02 pm Monday, July 26, 2010

The February shooting death of an 18-year-old at a gas station and a domestic dispute that resulted in a stabbing are among the 90 to 100 cases expected to be presented this week as a Warren County grand jury is convened by Circuit Judge M. James Chaney.

Jurors, who meet behind closed doors, will decide whether Dominic Rashad Turner, 19, 202 Easy St., should be tried for the death of Derrick Stamps, who died of multiple gunshot wounds fired at the Exxon Jubilee on Mission 66 and Clay Street around 1 a.m. Feb. 14.

Authorities said Turner and Stamps had fought earlier in the evening at Joanna’s Club on North Washington Street. The men were in separate vehicles getting gas when Stamps left his car to confront Turner and continue the fight, police said. They booked Turner on a murder charge.

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“We do anticipate presenting the case to the grand jury,” said District Attorney Ricky Smith.

In the second homicide, Chapiya Richardson, 28, 209 Central Drive, was charged with manslaughter after her boyfriend, 31-year-old Dennis Lewis, was stabbed to death in the early hours of March 20.

Police Lt. Bobby Stewart said at the time of Richardson’s arrest that she and Lewis “were involved in a domestic dispute when the injuries occurred.”

Smith said grand jurors would decide if Richardson acted in self-defense or not based on results of the police investigation.

“I would like to have a grand jury — 18 citizens of this community — tell me, based on the evidence they’re presented, what their feelings are as to whether it was justified,” Smith said.

The grand jury was to be selected this morning from a pool of about 250 people selected at random from voter rolls. They are charged with reviewing evidence against people accused of felonies. If they return an indictment containing a formal charge, defendants are arraigned in open court and a trial date is set. Chaney is set to begin arraignments Friday.

Cases not resulting in indictments are no-billed.

Jurors this week will also review at least four cases of possession of precursor chemicals involved in the manufacture of crystal methamphetamine, Smith said. Possession and sale of the drug are also on the list.

Other cases include possession and sales of other drugs, armed robbery and aggravated assault, Smith said.

Grand jurors will also tour the Warren County Jail and children’s shelter, meet with law enforcement officials and prepare a report of recommendations for county supervisors.

Grand juries are convened four times a year in Warren County. The final 2010 term will begin Oct. 11.